#5 British Flying Training School

Clewiston, Florida

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Oak Ridge Cemetery

This page is dedicated to the 23 cadets that died whilst training with #5 BFTS in Florida.

There are 2 rows of graves : The East Row and The West row

East Row

Horace Bowley-Booth
1816282 ~ A-C-2 (C) ~ R-A-F-V-R
May 4, 1945
~Resting where no shadows fall
in perfect peace he awaits us all~

HORACE BOWLEY-BOOTH 21 &
THOMAS WALLACE CALDERHEAD 20.

British Cadets at Riddle Field, Clewiston, were killed in a plane crash May 4 1945 near Belle Glade.  Both had completed their training and were shortly to receive their wings.

Rev. A. B. Lauenborg officiated at their last rites.

Anthony J. Oakley
1807725 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
Jan 14, 1944
~Always in our thoughts "Tony" Dear, We shall meet again my beloved son~

ANTHONY J. OAKLEY 20 and
THOMAS J. PARRY
22

Both British Cadets training at Riddle Field, Clewiston, killed when their plane crashed near Buckingham Field (northeast of Fort Myers, near Tice),  January 14 1944. 

Funerals were held on January 16 1944 with Rev. Milton H. Wyatt officiating.

Ronald A. Purrett
1318367 ~ L-A-C ~R-A-F
Dec 14, 1942
~The spirit of his soul will ever abide with those by whom he was so beloved~

RONALD ALBERT PURRETT 25.  Born 16 February 1917.

The oldest and only married RAF Cadet buried in the British Plot.  Killed in a plane crash at 1255 December 14 1942.  Ron was a student at Riddle Field, Clewiston and had been married for only 8 months prior to death.

Richard B. Thorp
1430150 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
July 16, 1942
~Deeply mourned by Mom and Dad~

RICHARD B. THORP 19.  Born 24 January 1923.

He was a British Cadet at Riddle Field, Clewiston, and was killed in a plane crash early Friday morning, July 16 1942, some 15 miles northeast of Venus adjacent to highway US 27 and west of Lake Okeechobee.  Thorp was an advanced student pilot born in Wednesbury, Stafford, England.

Funeral service conducted by Rev. A. R. Martin.

M-H-E (Terry) Thomas
1587193 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
April 28, 1943
~Precious only son
The beloved of the Lord
Shall dwell in safety Deut 33:12~

MARVIN H.E. (TERRY)  THOMAS 20 and
DENNIS HERMAN WASHER
22.

British students at Riddle McKay Aero College, killed in an AT-6A plane crash shortly after midnight April 28 1943 near Carlstrom Field.

Edward C. F. Vosper
1653419 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
Aug 24, 1943
~Father in thy gracious keeping,
leave we now thy servant sleeping~

LEONARD GEORGE STONE 20 and
EDWARD C.F. VOSPER
20.

They were both killed instantly when their training plane crashed 3 miles west of bowling Green near US 17 on Monday night August 24 1943.

Thomas W. Calderhead
1573752 ~ A-C-2 (C) ~ R-A-F
May 4, 1945
~His smiling face no more we'll see
but his memory will live for aye~

HORACE BOWLEY-BOOTH 21 &
THOMAS WALLACE CALDERHEAD
20.

British Cadets at Riddle Field, Clewiston, were killed in a plane crash May 4 1945 near Belle Glade.  Both had completed their training and were shortly to receive their wings. 

Rev. A. B. Lauenborg officiated at their last rites.

Thomas J. Parry
1653096 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
Jan 14, 1944
~To think we were not near
to keep one vigil o'er thy bed~

ANTHONY J. OAKLEY 20 and
THOMAS J. PARRY
22

Both British Cadets training at Riddle Field, Clewiston, killed when their plane crashed near Buckingham Field (northeast of Fort Myers, near Tice),  January 14 1944. 

Funerals were held on January 16 1944 with Rev. Milton H. Wyatt officiating.

Geoffrey R. King
1387538 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
Dec 3, 1942
~In proud memory of our dear son
God grant his sacrifice be not in vain~

GEOFFREY ROBERT KING  19.  Born 18 June 1923.

An English student-pilot at the Riddle McKay Aero College, Clewiston.  Killed on Thursday December 3 1942 in a mid-air crash with another training plane manned by an instructor and a fellow student from the Clewiston Field.  The two other flyers baled out.  King was born in Great Horton, York, England. 

Funeral service was conducted by Rev. Frank G. Ireland of St. Edmunds Episcopal Church.

William Meekin
1505510 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
June 30, 1942
~Deep in our hearts his memory is kept
We who loved him will never forget~

WILLIAM MEEKIN 20.  Born 29 October 1921.

Died 30 June 1942.  A British Cadet in training at Riddle Field, Clewiston, died Tuesday morning in Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, after a three day illness of Spinal Meningitis.   William was an only child and had been in training about two months in this country before his fatal illness.

Dennis H. Washer
1489918 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
April 28, 1943
~To live in hearts we leave behind
is not to die~

MARVIN H.E. (TERRY)  THOMAS 20 and
DENNIS HERMAN WASHER
22.

British students at Riddle McKay Aero College, killed in an AT-6A plane crash shortly after midnight April 28 1943 near Carlstrom Field.

Leonard G. Stone
1581060 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
Aug 24, 1943
~Your memory lives in the hearts you
loved
Eternal rest goodnight my son~

LEONARD GEORGE STONE 20 and
EDWARD C.F. VOSPER
20.

They were both killed instantly when their training plane crashed 3 miles west of bowling Green near US 17 on Monday night August 24 1943.

West Row

Lional M. Viggers
576807 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
October 9, 1944
~To the world he was only one
To us, he was the world
Saddly missed~

LIONAL M. VIGGERS 20

Killed in a plane crash at Palm City, north of Palm Beach and near Stuart, Florida on Monday night, October 9 1944.  Viggers was born in Margate, Kent, England and trained at Riddle Field, Clewiston.  Viggers was accompanied on his fatal flight by Lt Stephen Harvey who was not seriously hurt when the plane was forced down in a storm.

Robert A. Wood
1396029 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
September 15, 1943
Born March 9, 1924
~At Leeds, England
Resided Harron Weald, Middlesix~

GEORGE HENDERSON WILSON 20, and
ROBERT ALBERT WOOD
20

Were killed Wednesday night, September 15 1943, when their advanced training plane crashed south of Alva near SR 80.  Both were stationed at Riddle McKay Aero College, Clewiston and had only two more days of training left before graduating. 

Rev. A. R. Martin officiated at the burial site.

Alford T. Lloyd
1418101 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
January 5, 1942
~Be ye also ready; For in such an hour
as ye think not
The Son of man cometh~

ALFRED T. LLOYD 19

Died 5 January 1942.  A British Cadet at Carlstrom Field drowned in a "dunking escapade"  in a swimming pool.  "Dunking" was the accepted procedure in swimming pools after a cadet "soloed" by four of his classmates.  The four classmates are said to have decided on Monday night that Lloyd should be thrown into the pool in recognition of his having reached "solo" status.  The four boys recovered Lloyd when he failed to return to the surface and administered artificial respiration without success. 

Civil and Military rites were administered by Rev. Brunton of the Episcopal Church of Bradenton.

C. F. ("Beano") Russell
1133738 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
July 22, 1941
~Farewell till we meet
Dads and Moms~

CHARLES F. RUSSELL 21.  Born 22 June 1920.

Died 22 July 1941 of Spinal Meningitis after one week's residence in Arcadia. 

Burial service conducted by Rev. Frank Robinson, Trinity Methodist Church.

John A. Clay
1395220 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
January 19, 1943
~Our crowded hour of glorious life~

DEREK ROBINSON CLANDILLON and
JOHN ANTHONY CLAY
.

Both of London and students at Riddle Field, Clewiston.  Killed in a plane crash on Tuesday January 19 1943.  The bodies were found on Thursday approximately 20 miles northeast of Okeechobee and were brought to Arcadia for burial.

Micheal K. Hinds
1675666 ~ A-C-2 ~ R-A-F
July 13, 1944
"We have loved him in life.
Let us not forget him in death"
St. Ambrose~

MICHAEL K. HINDS

Died 13 July 1944.  Crashed in landing overshoot after pull-up in SW quadrant of Riddle Field.

George H. Wilson
1567527 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
September 15, 1943 ~ Age 19
~The dearly loved son and brother
of a Scottish home~

GEORGE HENDERSON WILSON  20, and 
ROBERT ALBERT WOOD
20

Were killed Wednesday night, September 15 1943, when their advanced training plane crashed south of Alva near SR 80.  Both were stationed at Riddle McKay Aero College, Clewiston and had only two more days of training left before graduating.

Rev. A. R. Martin officiated at the burial site.

Roger B. Crosskey
1315702 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
January 20, 1942
"Let this be my parting word,
That what I have seen is
unsurpassable" Tagore

ROGER BENSLEY CROSSKEY 20.  Born 2 February 1921.
Died 20 January 1942. Riddle Field's 1st fatal flying accident

For further information click here.
These additional pages describe what happened in detail.
(Please note that these are scanned copies of the original report and the quality has suffered over the last 60 years).

Lewis Wells
1025611 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
December 9, 1941
~Peacefully sleeping free from pain
In God's own time we shall meet again~

LEWIS WELLS 19.

Started training at Carlstrom, was transferred to Riddle field, Clewiston and subsequently to Gunter Field, Alabama.  Louis was killed in an auto accident, Tuesday 9 December 1941 between Alva and La Belle on SR 80 in Hendry County, losing control of his vehicle whilst passing another car.  He was thrown out of the car and sustained a fractured skull and jaw.

Funeral service conducted by Rev C.C. Edmunds of St Edmunds Episcopal Church.

Derek R. Clandillon
1394558 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
January 19, 1943
~Our beloved boy
"And singing still doth soar
and soaring ever singest"~

DEREK ROBINSON CLANDILLON and
JOHN ANTHONY CLAY
.

Both of London and students at Riddle Field, Clewiston.  Killed in a plane crash on Tuesday January 19 1943.  The bodies were found on Thursday approximately 20 miles northeast of Okeechobee and were brought to Arcadia for burial.

F. McK. Robertson
(Forbes McKenzie)
1396142 ~ L-A-C ~ R-A-F
April 24, 1943
~In loving memory of our son
who gave his life
That we might live in freedom~

FORBES McKENZIE ROBERTSON 20.  Born 23 July 1923.

British Cadet at Riddle McKay Aero College, Clewiston, and was killed in a plane crash on Saturday night, April 24 1943 near Melbourne on the east coast. 

Funeral service held at Oak Ridge Cemetery with Rev. Frank G. Ireland officiating.

John Paul Riddle
M-B-E
1901 - 1989
~American pioneer of aviation
and co-owner of the flying school
where the British Cadets were trained
during World War 2~

JOHN PAUL RIDDLE 88. Born 1901.

Requested that he be buried with his British cadets who lost their lives during training at Riddle field, Clewiston.

Here is a picture and dedication that was presented to the people of Arcadia, Florida as token of respect and gratitude for their continuing devotion to the last resting places of the cadets in Arcadia's Oak Ridge Cemetery.